Helping Buyers Visualize
In response to growing concerns within the unregulated industry of home staging, regarding the qualifications of stagers, Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, CSP International has just added a whole new level of credibility for their graduates to leverage.
“We have always believed in best business practices, professional standards, and education as crucial components for a strong foundation in a business start-up situations,” says CSP CEO Christine Rae. “In an emerging industry where there is no official measure of credibility, we thought it best to provide something tangible and measurable for real estate agents and property sellers to base their hiring decisions on. Many competitors claim that no one needs certification for this work, which is true. When no one cares, anything goes. The point is the end user (property seller/real estate investor/builder/real estate agent) shouldn’t have to guess or worry about the quality of work they receive.”
Every year at the Real Estate Staging Association conference, CSP graduates rank highest in award recipients across all categories. “Recently, all finalists in the occupied category were CSP graduates; this affirmed to us our program is sound,” says Rae. “We want to provide acknowledgement of that to our students and the real estate community.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of people can’t visualize a house beyond what they see in front of them. This is truly important when 97% of potential buyers start their search on the Internet by browsing listing photos. One true measure of a stager’s skill is working in an occupied property with furnishings they didn’t choose, the size and scale of items not being ideal, and often with irrational color schemes. Using a proprietary process, graduates create magic – the results of which make for amazing photographs and visual presentation. During classroom training, the students are taken to a property going on the market. For their final exam, they must work with the items the seller owns to transform space, illustrate function, highlight focal point, and amplify flow.
Graduates from the esteemed CSP International Academy have both intensive business training and practical hands-on work experience in the field, when they graduate. Three examinations also qualify them to use the prestigious CSP mark of excellent achievement, technical competency, and a symbol of integrity on their marketing materials, websites, and business card.
As of February 2018, in addition to the original certification, all CSP graduates can achieve their Occupied Staging Specialist designation by completing three stagings after graduation, illustrating complete understanding of the proprietary process, submitting photos, and testimonials for review to CSP International. This will be one more level of security a real estate agent and property seller can use to ensure the highest likelihood of securing the most equity from the sale of a property. True certification from a credible, internationally accredited program, is as important for a stager as a real estate license is for an agent.
“Having their skills and abilities measured when it isn’t officially required is a measure of a person’s integrity; (it’s) a foundation for wanting to be the very best they can be, bringing amazing service to their client,” says Rae. You wouldn’t hire an unlicensed real estate agent, so why trust your equity to a stager who isn’t certified?